Top Line

A La Nia pattern has developed and will affect U.S. weather conditions for the entire winter, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. said Thursday prompted concerns of a sustained, historically devastating wildfire season in the West and very cold conditions in the Midwest.

important facts

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La Nia is a naturally occurring phenomenon that occurs when regions of the eastern Pacific Ocean near the equator experience long-term, cooler than average sea surface temperatures, bringing about climate effects around the world.

In the US, this usually means warmer and drier conditions than usual in much of the South and West – conditions that encourage Forest fire Build.

Canada and the northern parts of the US often experience cold and wet conditions during La Nia periods, which can create long, snowy winters.

big number

87%. According to NOAA, there is a chance that La Nia conditions will continue until at least February.

what to see

Colder-than-normal winters can cause severe heatwaves in North America Bills For many consumers, the reason for the huge jump in energy prices. Propane costs are estimated to be 54% higher than last winter, while heating oil could rise by 43% and natural gas by 30%. Outlook released Wednesday by the US Energy Information Agency.

main background

Forecasters had been expecting La Nia to become a condition for months, and its effects were already felt before Thursday’s official designation. One of the most noticeable effects of La Nia is on hurricane activity, which generally limits hurricane formation in the eastern Pacific but favors it in the Atlantic basin. The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season is already one of the four most active since record-keeping began in 1851, with about seven weeks left until the season officially ends. Hurricane forecasters pointed to developing La Nia conditions as a major cause of high activity in the season’s pre-approach. Across the West, it has been a disastrous season for fires, particularly in California. About 2.5 million acres have been burned in about 7,900 fires this year. According For the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The inverse of La Nia, El Nio, occurs when warmer sea surface temperatures build up in the same Pacific, bringing warmer conditions to North America and more rain and snow in the south.

against

Although the risk of wildfire will be high over much of the western US, the risk may be low in the Pacific Northwest. During La Nia, that area usually has wetter than usual conditions.

what to see

NOAA will release its official outlook for winter 2021-22 on October 21.

Winter heat bills ready to soar as inflation hits home (The Associated Press)

Government forecasters say hurricane season is about to take a big turn (Businesshala)